Robinson Brothers Motor Services.
Robinson Brothers Motor Services.

Pioneering family in print

Al Robinson has been digging around in his family’s past and has released a new book called Robinson Pioneers of Northern NSW that is ready just in time for the Robinson family reunion in Grafton from March 19-21.

John Robinson and his wife Elizabeth (née Coxon) arrived in Australia in 1860 and the family played a significant role in opening up the North Coast region over several generations. The Robinson Macleay Steamers ran a passenger and freight steamboat service from Jerseyville to Kempsey in the latter part of the 19th century and Robinson Brothers Motor Services ran ‘rapid and reliable’ motor car transport services all along the coast from 1911 until 1932.

Of particular interest to Richmond River people is the story of George A Robinson, (after whom Robinson’s Lookout in Lismore is named). George (known to people as G.A.) left Jerseyville and came to the area in 1918. He created an elaborate motor and bus service for the Far North Coast called the New England Motor Company and served the area for many years from its Lismore terminal. G.A. also entered the airline business with New England Airways in 1931. Taking off, from Robinsons Aerodrome on their farm at South Lismore were the intrepid pilots of NEA, the next generation of Robinson brothers – Reg, Cliff and later Keith – supervised by the much loved and admired flyer from Bexhill, Keith Virtue. G.A. later established Airlines of Australia, which was equipped with the most modern aircraft in Australia at that time.

For local history buffs the book has 350 pages with more than 400 historical photos. To get a copy of the book contact Al Robinson on 9529 5907 or allan.robinson6@

bigpond.com.


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